Hypocrisy, thy name is Rep. Tim Murphy.
We already knew that the Pennsylvania Republican had engaged in an extramarital affair, after it came out in his mistress's divorce records. But things got much worse for Murphy on Tuesday: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that text messages indicate he told his mistress to get an abortion when they had a pregnancy scare.
That's especially problematic because Murphy is supposed to be an antiabortion congressman. He's got nearly a flawless voting record, as far as groups like the Family Research Council are concerned. And in fact, it was his promotion of that position that led to the fateful exchange with his mistress, Shannon Edwards.
A text message sent in January to U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy by a woman with whom he had an extramarital relationship took him to task for an antiabortion statement posted on Facebook from his office's public account.
“And you have zero issue posting your pro-life stance all over the place when you had no issue asking me to abort our unborn child just last week when we thought that was one of the options,” Shannon Edwards, a forensic psychologist in Pittsburgh with whom the congressman admitted last month to having a relationship, wrote to Mr. Murphy on Jan. 25, in the midst of an unfounded pregnancy scare.
A text from Mr. Murphy’s cellphone number that same day in response says, “I get what you say about my March for life messages. I've never written them. Staff does them. I read them and winced. I told staff don't write any more. I will.”
That's brutal. But in fact, that wasn't the only time Murphy's antiabortion views were promoted that week — just days after he apparently told someone close to him to get an abortion.
There was this statement from Jan. 24 announcing Murphy's happiness that the House had passed the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act.
“I am so proud the House passed this important bill to clearly stand for the dignity and value of all human life, both the born and the unborn,” Murphy said. “Passage of H.R. 7 in the wake of the President’s executive action yesterday gives me great hope that moving forward, we will once again be a nation committed to honoring life from the moment of conception onward and ensuring American taxpayer dollars are never spent to end a life before it even begins.”
And just two days after their text-message exchange — after telling Edwards that he would craft his own messages on abortion — Murphy's office was again playing up his antiabortion bona fides in an e-newsletter.
Here's what the Jan. 27 edition said:
“We must, once again, become a nation respectful of all life. We must encourage and prioritize adoption and offer compassion and prayer for mothers and fathers who struggle with the questions of life,” said Murphy.
One of the first acts of newly-elected President Donald J. Trump was to reinstate long-standing policy to prevent U.S. taxpayers paying for abortions through foreign aid. The next day, the House of Representatives took up and passed H.R. 7 to permanently prohibit the use of federal funds to pay for abortions, as well as to prohibit federal medical facilities and health professionals from providing abortion services.
“I proudly sponsored and voted for this important bill to clearly stand for the dignity and value of all human life, both the born and the unborn,” said Murphy. “Passage of H.R. 7 in the wake of the President’s executive action gives me great hope we will once again be a nation committed to honoring life and ensuring American taxpayer dollars are never spent to end a life before it even begins.”
Since then, Murphy's office hasn't sent a tweet or a news release mentioning abortion — even though the House is taking up a 20-week abortion ban . . . today.
If there's any consolation for Murphy, it's that he wouldn't be the only House Republican to be pro-choice for himself and pro-life for everyone else. Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) remains in Congress four years after it was revealed that he had asked both his ex-wife and reportedly a mistress to obtain abortions.